Grapes have been cultivated for thousands of years and are revered by several ancient civilizations for their use in winemaking.
There are many types of grapes including green, red, black, yellow and pink. They grow in clusters and come in seeded and seedless varieties.
Grapes are grown in temperate climates around the world, including southern Europe, Africa, Australia, and North and South America. The majority of grapes grown in the United States come from California.
Grapes offer many health benefits due to their high nutrient and antioxidant content.
Here are the top 12 health benefits of eating grapes.
1. The grounds are packed with nutrients, especially vitamins C and K
Grapes are rich in several important nutrients.
One cup (151 grams) of red or green grapes contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 104
- Carbohydrates: 27.3 grams
- Protein: 1.1 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Fiber: 1.4 grams
- Vitamin C: 27% of the daily reference intake (RDA)
- Vitamin K: 28% of RDA
- Thiamine: 7% of RDI
- Riboflavine: 6% of RDI
- Vitamin B6: 6% of RDA
- Potassium: 8% of RDI
- Copper: 10% of the RDI
- Manganese: 5% of the RDA
One cup (151 grams) of grapes provides more than a quarter of the RDA for vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin vital for blood clotting and healthy bones.
They are also a good source of vitamin C, an essential nutrient and powerful antioxidant needed for healthy connective tissue.
Grapes contain many important vitamins and minerals, including more than a quarter of the RDA for vitamins C and K.
2. Grapes are high in antioxidants that can prevent chronic disease
Antioxidants are compounds found in plants, for example. They help repair damage to your cells caused by free radicals, which are harmful molecules that cause oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress has been linked to several chronic diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Grapes are rich in a number of powerful antioxidant compounds. In fact, over 1,600 beneficial plant compounds have been identified in this fruit.
The highest concentration of antioxidants is found in the skin and seeds. For this reason, most research on grapes has been done using seed or skin extracts.
Red grapes contain a higher number of antioxidants due to the anthocyanins that give them their color.
The antioxidants in grapes remain present even after fermentation, which is why red wine is also high in these compounds.
One of the antioxidants in this fruit is resveratrol, which is classified as a polyphenol.
Many studies have been done on its benefits, showing that resveratrol protects against heart disease, lowers blood sugar and protects against the development of cancer.
Grapes also contain vitamin C, beta-carotene, quercetin, lutein, lycopene and ellagic acid, which are also powerful antioxidants.
Grapes are high in antioxidants, beneficial plant compounds that may protect against chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
3. Plant Compounds May Protect Against Certain Types of Cancer
Grapes contain high levels of beneficial plant compounds, which may help protect against certain types of cancer.
Resveratrol, one of the compounds found in this fruit, has been well studied in terms of cancer prevention and treatment.
It has been shown to protect against cancer by reducing inflammation, acting as an antioxidant and blocking the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
However, the unique combination of plant compounds found in grapes may be responsible for their anti-cancer benefits. In addition to resveratrol, grapes also contain quercetin, anthocyanins and catechins — all of which may have cancer-fighting benefits.
Grape extracts have been shown to block the growth and spread of human colon cancer cells in test-tube studies.
What’s more, a study in 30 people over the age of 50 showed that eating 1 pound (450 grams) of grapes daily for two weeks decreased colon cancer risk markers.
Studies have also shown that grape extracts block the growth and spread of breast cancer cells, both in laboratory and mouse models.
Although studies on grapes and cancer in humans are limited, a diet high in antioxidant-rich foods, such as grapes, has been linked to a lower risk of cancer.
Grapes contain many beneficial plant compounds, such as resveratrol, which may protect against various types of cancer, including colon cancer and breast cancer.
4. Beneficial for Heart Health in Various Awesome Ways
There are several reasons why eating grapes is good for your heart.
May help lower blood pressure
One cup (151 grams) of grapes contains 288 mg of potassium, which is 6% of the RDA.
This mineral is needed to maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
Low potassium intake has been linked to increased risks of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
A study in 12,267 adults showed that people who consumed higher levels of potassium compared to sodium were less likely to die of heart disease than those who consumed less.
May help lower cholesterol
Compounds found in grapes may help protect against high cholesterol levels by decreasing cholesterol absorption.
In a study of 69 people with high cholesterol, eating three cups (500 grams) of red grapes daily for eight weeks showed a decrease in total and “bad” LDL cholesterol. White grapes did not have the same effect.
What’s more, diets high in resveratrol, such as the Mediterranean diet, have also been shown to lower cholesterol levels.
Compounds in grapes and red wine may protect against heart disease. Grapes can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
5. May Lower Blood Sugar and Protect Against Diabetes
Grapes contain 23 grams of sugar per cup (151 grams), which may have you wondering if they’re a good choice for people with diabetes.
They have a low glycemic index (GI) of 53, a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar.
Additionally, compounds found in grapes can even lower blood sugar. In a 16-week study of 38 men, those who took 20 grams of grape extract daily saw their blood sugar levels drop compared to a control group.
Additionally, resveratrol has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity, which may improve your body’s ability to use glucose and, therefore, lower blood sugar.
Resveratrol also increases the number of glucose receptors on cell membranes, which may have a beneficial effect on blood sugar.
Managing your blood sugar levels over time is an important factor in reducing your risk of diabetes.
Although grapes are high in sugar, they have a low glycemic index. Additionally, compounds in grapes may protect against high blood sugar.
6. Contain Several Compounds Beneficial to Eye Health
The plant chemicals found in grapes may protect against common eye diseases.
In one study, mice fed a diet supplemented with grapes showed fewer signs of retinal damage and had better retinal function than mice that were not fed the fruit.
In a test-tube study, resveratrol was found to protect retinal cells in the human eye from ultraviolet A light. This may reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease common eyepiece.
According to a review study, resveratrol may also help protect against glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic eye disease.
Additionally, grapes contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. Several studies have shown that these compounds help protect the eyes from blue light damage.
Grapes contain several compounds, such as resveratrol, lutein and zeaxanthin, which may protect against common eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma.
7. May Improve Memory, Attention, and Mood
Eating grapes can benefit your brain health and boost your memory.
In a 12-week study in 111 healthy elderly people, 250 mg of a grape supplement daily significantly improved scores on a cognitive test measuring attention, memory, and language against values reference.
Another study in healthy young adults showed that drinking about 8 ounces (230 ml) of grape juice improved both the speed of memory-related skills and mood 20 minutes after consumption.
Studies in rats have shown that resveratrol improved learning, memory and mood when taken for 4 weeks.
Additionally, rat brains showed signs of increased growth and blood flow.
Resveratrol may also help protect against Alzheimer’s disease, although studies in humans are needed to confirm this.
Grapes contain compounds that may improve memory, attention and mood and may protect against Alzheimer’s disease, although more human research is needed to confirm some of these benefits.
8. Contain Many Nutrients Important for Bone Health
Grapes contain many minerals necessary for bone health, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese and vitamin K.
Although studies in rats have shown that resveratrol improves bone density, these findings have not been confirmed in humans.
In one study, rats fed freeze-dried grape powder for 8 weeks had better bone absorption and calcium retention than rats that weren’t given the powder.
Human-based studies on the effect of grapes on bone health are currently lacking.
Grapes contain many important nutrients for bone health, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin K. Studies in rats have shown that grapes may have protective effects on bones, but studies Humans are needed to confirm these benefits.
9. May Protect Against Certain Bacteria, Viruses, and Yeast Infections
Many compounds in grapes have been shown to protect against and fight bacterial and viral infections.
Grapes are a good source of vitamin C, which is well known for its beneficial impact on your immune system.
Grape skin extract has been shown to protect against the flu virus in test-tube studies.
Additionally, compounds in grapes prevented the herpes virus, chicken pox and yeast from spreading in test-tube studies.
Resveratrol may also protect against foodborne illnesses. When added to different types of foods, it has been shown to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, such as E. Coli.
Grapes contain several compounds that have shown beneficial effects against certain bacteria, viruses, and yeast infections.
10. May Slow Aging and Promote Longevity
Plant compounds found in grapes can affect aging and shelf life.
Resveratrol has been shown to extend the lifespan of various animal species.
This compound boosts a family of proteins called sirtuins, which have been linked to longevity.
One of the genes activated by resveratrol is the SirT1 gene. This is the same gene activated by low-calorie diets that has been linked to longer lifespan in animal studies.
Resveratrol also affects several other genes associated with aging and longevity.
The resveratrol in grapes has been shown to activate genes associated with slower aging and longer lifespan.
11. May Prevent Chronic Disease by Decreasing Inflammation
Chronic inflammation plays a key role in the development of chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and autoimmune diseases, to name a few.
Resveratrol has been linked to powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
In a study of 24 men with metabolic syndrome – a risk factor for heart disease – grape powder extract equivalent to about 1.5 cups (252 grams) of fresh grapes increased the number of anti-inflammatory compounds in their blood.
Similarly, another study in 75 people with heart disease found that taking grape powder extract increased levels of anti-inflammatory compounds, compared to a control group.
A study in rats with inflammatory bowel disease showed that grape juice not only improved signs of the disease, but also increased blood levels of anti-inflammatory compounds.
Grapes contain compounds that may have anti-inflammatory effects, which may protect against certain heart and intestinal diseases.
12. Delicious, Versatile, and Easily Incorporated into a Healthy Diet
Grapes are easy to incorporate into a healthy diet. Here are some ways to enjoy them:
- Eat plain grapes as a snack.
- Freeze grapes for a fresh treat.
- Add chopped grapes to a vegetable or chicken salad.
- Use grapes in a fruit salad.
- Add grapes or grape juice to a smoothie.
- Add grapes to a cheese platter for an appetizer or dessert.
- Drink 100% grape juice.
Grapes are delicious and easy to add to your diet for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just as a healthy, convenient snack.
Grapes contain several important nutrients and powerful plant compounds that benefit your health.
Although they contain sugar, they are low on the glycemic index and do not appear to raise blood sugar.
Antioxidants in grapes, such as resveratrol, reduce inflammation and may help protect against cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Grapes are easy to incorporate into your diet, whether fresh, frozen, in the form of juice or wine.
For the most benefit, choose fresh, red over white grapes.